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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  March 11, 2015 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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exercises off the coast. and for the first time america has an accredited muslim college. first, the 2016 talent search reveals an early flare for drama. it is wednesday, march 11th, and this is "now." today the drama just keeps coming. less than 24 hours after clinton's press conference, "the ap" filed a lawsuit to force the state department to release state e-mails and documents from hillary clinton's time at the state department. clinton herself did not exactly quell the controversy suggesting yesterday she deleted some 30,000 e-mails deemed private.
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the republican chairman of the house select committee on ben benghazi said it is further evidence that an independent arbiter is needed. >> i don't know why she doesn't just turn the server over. there are plenty of retired federal judges or inspector generals that everyone trusts. make that person make the determination of what's a public record and a private record. >> gowdy said he'll have no choice but to call clinton to speak before the committee at least twice. >> i don't think convenience should trump national security. i think that the fact she didn't obey the rules on putting her e-mails on a government server
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and now she says there wasn't classified information i'm not sure that can be trusted, since we can't trust her to do the right thing the first time. >> former secretary of state clinton took to twitter this afternoon. quote, gop letter to iranians clerics undermines american leadership. no one considering running for commander and chief should be signing on. joining me now is former rnc chair michael steele and former chairman of the dna, howardc, howard dean. it doesn't appear the questions are done being asked. "the ap" lawsuit continues this for one more day during the media cycle. what did you think of hillary
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clinton's appetite for drama? >> i thought she did a great job yesterday. this is much ado about nothing. i think this whole thing is nonsense. i really do, and i have been through this. it is basically packed journalism. they often get it wrong. i think trey gowdy is looking worse and worse by the moment. it is very clear this is just more benghazi more republican right-wing nut job stuff and going after all these imaginary scandals. >> chairman steele there is a danger here for republicans, which is a frequent danger that of overplaying their hand. the fact that trey gowdy has
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said before secretary clinton's testimony has begun he may need to talk to her twice, is he at risk for overstepping here? >> they are always at risk for overstepping. i think this is a lot of noise about nothing to the extent american people haven't really tuned in on this. but this is drama created by hillary clinton. a lot of folks on the democratic side as well as the republican side are saying the easiest thing to do is just turn over the server. we all, the governor yourself myself, have received e-mails that are personal in nature but drift off into something that is more substantive. so excited about your daughter's upcoming wedding. too bad this or that about benghazi. she responds to that. that's what people are talking
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about. you can't classify it as personal when that may not be the case. let an independent body look at all the e-mails. this doesn't just go away because you should have would have could have done something. >> governor dean governor rindell was on this show yesterday saying he didn't think it was a bad idea to give this server to a third party. your thoughts? >> the server belongs to president clinton. who knows what is on the server? but it is not the public's business in terms of his stuff. i had a reporter call me up during the campaign and say, i'm going to accuse you of -- write a column and accuse you of insider trading if you don't give me the last ten years of
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tax returns. prove you are not a traitor. prove you didn't say something outrageous. they ask you to a prove a negative. the press loves it because the press wants all the information they can get. >> the press wants transparency. >> the press wants transparency and information. that's why the press is so outraged. >> do you think it is a good position for hillary clinton before she as announced her candidacy to have an adversarial relationship with the press in general? >> the press started it. if you try to dig into somebody's personal life -- >> that may or may not be true but is it good for her pobto be in this position before she as announced her candidacy? >> there's nothing she can do about it. that's just the way it is going to be. >> howard, i completely disagree with you on that.
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there's everything she can do about it. even though all those other tall tales turned out to be that it is how the clintons handle this stuff. they create this mystery and cynicism about being attacked and everything. just turn over the information. if you have got clean hands, you have clean hands. if hillary clinton has clean hands on this give them the server. let an independent body look through it. nobody needs to report what's on there except anything related to government business and move on. >> would you want "the ap" rummaging through your daughter's wedding plans? >> nobody is suggesting "the ap" get the server. >> well "the ap" is.
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>> there are other people running for president potentially. >> there are? >> i hear it is a race. it is not a coronation. jeb bush is running. he announced today he will be divesting from his final two business arrangements. i wonder what you think that nearly 60% of voters in the latest "wall street journal" poll say what is important to them in 2016? 63% say change. how damning is that? >> i don't think it is really a problem. polls this far out tend to reflect all kinds of things. you focus people's attention usually in the last month or so before the election on the candidates who are on the
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ballot. while the polls are interesting and certainly a good topic for us to entertain ourselves with, i don't -- until people are nominated, i don't think the polls are worth a lot. >> on the republican side of the aisle, scott walker, rand paul whose stock is trading higher? the fisticuffs with rand paul and hillary clinton seem to suggest he is ahead. which horse is ahead? >> they are both trending and are trending at an interesting rate and pace. you have rand paul who is going to be in my state this friday at bowie university this friday. you have the back and forth with
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hillary and rand. i think they're carving out that ground game for themselves that when they're ready to engage they have the launch pad loaded and ready to go. and i think that's going to be great for the party overall. i would like to see more of the candidates to do that to show their moxie and not be afraid to actually mix it up a bit so we can see to that poll who is going to be different, who is going to bring a different kind of game. at the end of the day, i agree with howard here. people are going to vote what's in their best interests and that could wind up being hillary and jeb unless someone else makes a difference. >> thank you guys both. >> thanks. after the break, i'll speak with artist waka flocka flame why he cancelled his performance at oklahoma university. what state just legalized firing
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the two fraternity brothers expelled from the university of oklahoma for their role in singing the racist chant caught on video have been identified and apologized for their actions. parker rice said i am deeply sorry for what i did saturday night. it was wrong and reckless. and the parents of levi petite said he had made a horrible mistake and will live with the consequences forever. yesterday on social media dozens of twitter users indicated that
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the sae chant been around for decades and its use is widespread. the chant was song at sae parties in texas. wac ka waka flocka flame cancelled his show saying he was disgusted. there's been a lot of talk about your thoughts on sae, and i'm glad you finally have a chance to give your views. are the apologyies enough from these two young men? >> it's a start. it's a great start. clearly, i feel like it is a great start. >> the parents of one of these young men apologized on his behalf. what would you say to the parents of this man who has been
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expelled from the university about his views on race? >> certainly not my position to tell a parent to do with their child, but as a person who is concerned people should educate their kids before they touch earth. it really hurt people. >> at the center of this debate is a word the "n" word which is a loaded word. it is a dark word with a dark history, and i guess i wonder a lot of attention has been paid to you and your lyrics. some folks have said your lyrics are racist or disgusting or divisive or hateful. what do you say to those folks about why you choose the words you do? >> this isn't about rap. this is about what happened on that bus. this isn't about my rap music.
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i feel like they're running away from what we're talking about. >> how about the video that came out in addition to the one on the bus of the house mother rapping along with the trinidad song and she uses the "n" word on that video? >> they basically just repeated the same word. she was clearly reciting a rap song. what she wrong at was joining kids at being children when in her times and era that word was not supposed to be verbally expressed by that culture of people, in my opinion. >> that's the question for some people. there are different videos obviously. i wonder if you think the one of the house mom is less offensive because it is a song and why is that. >> honestly we have to talk
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about what happened on that bus. i'm not here to judge that woman and what music she want to jam to cleaning up her house or enjoying her free time. >> that's fair enough. when you hear about these kids and they were expelled do you think that's the right punishment? >> once again, it is a start. this is america, man. everybody deserves a second chance. who knows what the future holds? it is a good beginning, though. >> i think some people are concerned that they're going to go back to their world and are they really going to be exposed to the lessons of the 21st century and to learn to be more sensitive or educated about race if they're no longer on a college campus and being exposed to people of different colors and backgrounds. is that something that concerns you? would you go back to sae if they
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invited you again? >> why wouldn't i, because of two people. i have been there before. i partied there before. i felt like i was down with that fraternity. that's why i was really hurt and really disgusted to be honest with you. >> that sense of violation is that one of the main reasons you cancelled your performance? >> yes, ma'am. >> it is a difficult topic the question of race and how we deal with it in this country. i think you're right that sometimes we focus too much on the word and not the actions and beliefs. so we're going to talk about that a little bit more later, but thank you for your time. thanks for your time. >> all right. any time. thank you. >> joining me now is an assistant political science professor and president and ceo of the national urban league. in terms of the contours of this
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debate, we focus on words. in a lot of ways we're not really focused on the issue at hand, which is racism. do you think we sort of unduly pivot to focusing on the word instead of the concept? >> i think we started with coarse derogatory language by members of a fraternity at the university of oklahoma. it seemed to be a part of their pledge process and some deflected it by going to music and artistry and hip hop. the point you're making is yes, it is an expression if you will, of racist feelings. the word has, if you will, racist overtones. it is a symbol and a sign of
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inferiority. that's exactly what it is but i think it is not correct to allow the conversation, which is about what happened at the university of oklahoma to be quickly deflected into a conversation about hip-hop music and about artistry even though it is my position the word is derogatory. it is coarse. we need to erase it from usage, if you will and cancel its use. >> in terms of the conversation there are some who would say debating the merits of the "n" word is missing the big word. it is easier to fight a word instead of institutionalized problem. i don't know where the sort of
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entry point is for something like that. >> i would say it is not something we all want to do. >> fair enough. >> there in lies the real problem, right? it's something that many of us want. >> it is not necessarily everybody agrees even exists. >> let's start with post-racial. so many people don't want to do the work right? they want to just kind of -- we have a black president. everything is fine now. it is not fine now. when we think about this racist chant from sae, it is not just about the word. let's think about the next verse which is about black men hanging from trees. that's the fabric of this country, and that's where we get this word that is so powerful and so volatile that needs to be addressed because it comes with this institutional baggage that is historical, but it is played out in all levels of government and in schools and the prison
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industrial complex and black people's daily interactions when shopping at the grocery store or shopping on fifth avenue. we know that it is not just about the word. it's about the history of american racism that seems to bookend this narrative that people just want to quickly erase. >> dr. greer makes a very important point, which is the two parts of that bus video, there was the "n" word and the lynching part. much more attention has been paid to the "n" word than the lynching. there is a project to make memorials at places where black people were lynched. that remains a really contentious thing. there are cities and towns who don't want to look at the fact that we lynched people in this
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country publicly and in a celebratory fashion. some people will say that's history. we don't want to look at that ever again. >> a whole generation has to be educated to the horrors, to the terrors, to the violence of that period of our history. you get away from it by helping people understand that it is a part of american history and what we're trying to do in the 21st century is build a values system built on equality justice, and fairness for all. and it is a difficult subject, and i think my colleague here on the panel has talked about its pervasiveness. there's no doubt that this is
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true. these things incite us and they incite our emotions and our feelings. where i come from as a son of the south, the "n" word was a fighting word. it was the coarsest thing one could be called. while erasing it and repealing it from our usage is not going to solve all of the problems that we face, i think it is an important thing for us to say and do. to erase it from usage. >> i understand where mark is coming from in terms of the pain of the word. the question of erasing, it worries me in the same way that expelling these kids -- and i want to know what your thoughts are on this. people say that is sift and right justice for bigots. at the same time they need to learn about what is right. i guess i wonder if you think
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expulsion was the right thing to do in this particular case at sae and whether we can truly sort of like erase, if you will put out of sight and mind the things that are most disturbing to us. >> i think expulsion is the easy way out. think about donald sterling. he gets kicked out of the nba. has racism in the nba changed at all? no. he's gone, but the fabric and the foundation and the roots are still there. if you're going to expel the two boys expel everyone on the bus. what willare the next steps? these overly sensitive african-americans had me expelled because i did one thing wrong? this is what we call the teachable moments. i would defer to osu to really
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think about the real long-term productive conversations that can be had. if they think expulsion is the best thing, expel everyone who sang that song. >> i agree alex. may i? >> go ahead. >> i would lift up president bourn. he did the right thing. he took the moral high ground. he did expel these students. there is certainly an opportunity still for these students to learn and for this to be a learning experience but the expulsion, i think, was the right thing to do. >> thank you both for your time. we'll have more after the break.
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the bodies of most of the crew members have been recovered. all 11 are feared dead. >> one of the great things about our county anthony, as you know, we're very close. we're emotional from the standpoint of how much support we have received and the military has received. we had people who came down and donate donated, food water, any kind of supply and like the major said, technology as well. our community is behind this 100% as well as the military. >> joining me now is chief pentagon correspondent. can you give us an overview of what we know about the crash at this point. >> in a news conference in louisiana, the army national guard there, there was a tantalizing, if not intrigueing,
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piece of information put out. one helicopter took off and because of bad weather returned to base while the other crashed. that will be a major part to any investigation as to why this helicopter went down. just ahead, america takes a big step forward in religious tolerance. that's next. i've just arrived in atlanta and i can't wait to start telling people how switching to geico could save them hundreds of dollars on car insurance. but first, my luggage. ahh, there it is. uh, excuse me sir? i think you've got the wrong bag. >>sorry, they all look alike, you know? no worries. well, car's here, i can't save people money chatting at the baggage claim all day. geico®. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
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menu menu. yesterday utah lawmakers passed a law bringing back the firing squad. legal injection has been the preferred method since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, but the recent shortage and botched executions have led to states considering alternatives. oklahoma is considering legislation to bring back the gas chamber. joining me now is frank brewny and eugene robinson and blake zef. i find the death penalty abhorrent. i find firing squads abhorrent. at least they are a reminder
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that when people are put to death, they are put to death. >> there's no humane way to kill people. either you kill people or you don't. that's the question. i think you can argue the death penalty both ways. i happen to be against it. i understand some arguments for it in heinous cases. you can go either way, but you can't pretend to yourself that there is a humane way to put people to death. a way that doesn't hurt. how do you know? how can you possibly know what hurts hurts? >> you can't interview people who have been through it. >> inmates were crying out and expressing pain in the botched executions, which is one of the reasons there is i guess we can call this reform around the issue. blake? >> yes. >> given we are top five
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executing countries, we're number five. saudi arabia is number four. china is number one with over 1,000 executions a year but the figures are a state secret. that's not good company for us to be in. >> but on the other hand there are points of honesty here. this is killing a person. we can give someone an injection and they go to sleep. >> we think they go to sleep when they are in writhing pain but can't move their body. >> the people who are administering it get to see them falling asleep. >> i think your shortchanging the bloodthirstiness. >> there are some people who want to see the gore. >> and who want to do it. >> they find it to be a
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catharsis. i feel it demeans us as a civilization. >> this is sure to revive that debate all over again. >> it is also irreversible by the way. the most compelling argument against the death penalty is if you make a mistake, you can't take it back. >> and mistakes have been made. >> not a lot, but they do get make mistakes. >> one mistake is too many. this is in the column of good progressive things happening in the world. a college in berkley, california, has become the first accredited muslim college in the country. is it going to be a stop for conservative candidates as they visit religious constitutions on the 2016 trail? >> there will be a must-visit. >> it is an institution of
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scholarship and religious learning. why not? that broadens the point to where we are vis-a-vis in this country. >> we believe in religion pluralism. we have higher education. we have jewish universities and christian universities. >> new york city cab drivers no longer need to know where they're going. according to new rules, a command of english combined with a gps is just fine. is it just fine? is it okay for people to not know where they're going? >> it's fine with me because i'm going from penn station -- >> what if they don't know where penn station is? >> that's a problem if they don't know where penn station
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is. it is kind of complicated because you have a grid system here but the numbers don't correspond to the grid. >> you're maligning new york city planning and not the cab drivers who have not figured out, let's say, the west village. >> your question presumes a fact not in evidence which is they already know where they're going. i have been in a lot of cabs that gps would have been our only salvation. >> where is the gps? something i think is lost generational generationally. i'm frequently looking at the gps. i don't know where anything is anymore whether new york or another city. >> you're like that annoying teacher in the school when you're taking the math test and you want to be use the calculator no carry the nine and do the math. >> thank goodness for that. basic math i'm rusty on it. if i had not learned that, i would be a lesser person. i'm already such a minor person
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at this point. i think that is probably just me being letted. just two months ago, mcdonald's hated kale. >> all vegetarians, foodies, kindly avert your eyes. you can't get juiciness like this from soy or quinoa. this is not greek yogurt nor kale. >> they are considering aiddding kale to its menu. your thoughts on this? >> mcdonald's has a huge image crisis right now. they have to do something. just a short time ago they talked about apples in happy meals. we're going to see more and more of this bit by bit because they have a real problem. they are pedaling a product that fewer and fewer americans want.
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i don't think a little leaf of kale on top of the big mac is going to solve this for them. >> i'm not going to mcdonald's for my kale smoothies. if mcdonald's improved the burger or the bun or the toemato maybe i would go back. >> i don't know anybody who has ever going to mcdonald's and gone you know what they're missing? quinoa. >> i'm going to mcdonald's for healthy. >> it's not your high fiber moment. >> no. at this point, americans are going there for nostalgia. going back to basics. just let it all hang out. back to big macs.
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>> malifous. >> embrace your deep fried soul. >> this is all they need is the two of you guys sitting there. >> welcome back america. >> your deep fried past awaits you. >> this is amazing. we could just run that as the ad. we're going to leave it there. that was the last word. come back to your past america. coming up, good artists copy great artists steal. is that picasso or is that robin thicke? they can cover everything from basic arithmetic to calculus, trigonometry, finance. you can really just get what you need at your own pace. and so, bank of america came and reached out to us and said
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♪ if you can't read from the same page ♪ ♪ because i was -- great artists steal. yesterday a federal jury ordered robin thicke and pharrell to pay $7.5 million to the family of marvin gaye for ripping off "got to give it up." they want to halt all sales on "blurred lines." while the two recordings have an
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unmistakable similar feel the jury was only allowed to rule on sheet music composition. thicke and williams only seemed guilty of stealing a vibe. if vibes are considered intellectual property, let's prepare for music to go crashing into oblivion. joining me now is john caramonica. there is a lot of division over whether or not this is a big deal in the music industry. where do you stand? >> i don't think it is unimportant. the fact remains there are a few musical similarities between the
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gaye song and the thicke song. $7.5 million? i don't know. >> there was rejoicing on the international internets about this decision. i wonder how much of that was driven by people who don't like robin thicke at this point. >> since his peak in 2013 all he has done is eat humble pie. >> shovelfuls. >> first, there's the miley cyrus thing, then the split with his wife -- >> then the creepy album for his ex-wife. >> pharrell williams will have a career. to that landmark case you talked
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about with bizmarquee artists came out of that moment. we can't use samples. they're too expensive. we're going to create our own music. do you think that is a fair assessment of how that changed the trajectory of music? >> pharrell is a child of sample based hip hop. he can play the songs that he was interested in sampling. most producers can't. when pharrell and the neptunes became really popular, what they are benefitting from is the people who want the sounds from the past but can't afford. live music was part of the sonic palette. what pharrell did for the thicke was an extension of what he was doing for the neptunes which is post-sample rap.
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>> i want to talk about trademarking whether it is katy perry and left shark and taylor swift. how much of that is informed by declining record sales? big artists are looking to any space they can to secure a profit. >> the question becomes what are you losing along the way. when taylor swift is shutting down shops on etsy for beer coolers with her lyrics, are use losing a fan? when i see them shutting down small creators who are inspired by them what they're telling those people is don't be inspired by them at least on my
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watch. >> it's great to see you, my friend. thank you for your time. coming up there has been more fallout in ferguson from that scathing justice report on widespread abuses. we'll have that next on "now." [ female announcer ] everyone has a moment when tomorrow becomes real. transamerica. transform tomorrow. [ female announcer ] hands were made for talking. feet...tiptoeing. better things than the pain stiffness, and joint damage of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. before you and your rheumatologist decide on a biologic ask if xeljanz is right for you. xeljanz (tofacitinib) is a small pill not an injection or infusion, for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well. xeljanz can relieve ra symptoms, and help stop further joint damage. xeljanz can lower your ability to fight infections, including
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good evening americans, and welcome to "the ed show," live from detroit lakes, minnesota. lots of news. let's get to work. a convenience truth. >> i chose not to keep my private personal e-mails, e-mails about planning chelsea's wedding. >> republicans dig for dirt on the clintons. >> i'm looking forward to going to chelsea's wedding. at the reception, i'd like to talk to you about bolivia. >> later, return to sender. >> you're tom. hi. >> we're awaiting new information about the military chopper crash off the coast of florida. good to have you with us tonight, folks. thanks for watching. we start this evening with breaking news out of ferguson, missouri. ferguson police chief tom jackson is resigning

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